The true story of Lord Francis Hope who inherits the Hope Diamond and marries showgirl May Yohe. Lord Francis Hope gambles away the family fortune and May Yohe leaves him. Another suspected ... Read allThe true story of Lord Francis Hope who inherits the Hope Diamond and marries showgirl May Yohe. Lord Francis Hope gambles away the family fortune and May Yohe leaves him. Another suspected curse of owning the Hope Diamond.The true story of Lord Francis Hope who inherits the Hope Diamond and marries showgirl May Yohe. Lord Francis Hope gambles away the family fortune and May Yohe leaves him. Another suspected curse of owning the Hope Diamond.
Really Exciting Serial! Same 'Ol Tropes, Maybe, But Karloff's a Genuine Winner
Over the last several nights have watched "The Hope Diamond Mystery" (1921), a captivating 15 chapter serial which runs a total of five hours. Starring Grace Darmond, Harry Carter, George Chesebro, Boris Karloff (in his first major starring rôle), Carmen Phillips, William Marion, and others, this one really kept me honestly interested the entire length and made me wish to come back night after night! As with all serials, there are a couple of continuity problems, and this one has been lovingly restored (by Eric Stedman of Serial Squadron), but there are still one or two small instances where some frames have been transposed and not put back exactly correctly; yet, these are trifles. The finished product of restoration has some wonderfully tinted and toned scenes, and overall, everything was rather sharp compared to many I've watched. I originally bought this to watch Boris Karloff. He plays two rôles, a Hindu servant to the current owner of the Hope diamond and also a servant of Sita in India in an earlier century in a flashback story where he keeps watch over one of the temples to Sita. Grace Darmond is the star, and she plays the secretary of William Marion, current owner of the diamond, and she also plays a hapless girl in India who becomes involved with the diamond in an earlier century. The baddies - oh, and they're ba-a-d! - are Harry Carter and his wife, Carmen Phillips. Carter plays Sidney Atherton, a man who constantly disguises himself as Nang Fu (obviously here an evil Chinaman, playing up the "yellow scare"), and Atherton also plays Ghung, a nasty sort from India in those scenes of an earlier century. All the way through Atherton is after the diamond. Any way he can get it. Any way. Through thick and thin. Chesebro plays many parts, too. He's the love interest throughout of Darmond, and though he's supposed to be the heroic savior of his lady at all times, the part is not quite written that way. It is fate - led on by the diamond, of course - that is the anti-hero/hero/mysterious fate-causer/evil. Sort of leading us through all this is May Yohe, formerly Lady Francis Hope in real life, a former owner of the Hope diamond when she was married to Francis Hope. She may actually have once owned the diamond, but this is all supposedly based on events told in a memoir she wrote. Yeah, uh-huh. The whole thing is hooey - but it's so much fun. I really enjoyed this a lot. Available on DVD from the Serial Squadron. Let me add that the accompaniments music-wise were also excellent and apt throughout.
- Dec 11, 2020
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